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Steve McClaren Explains What Happened Against Norwich

11:08 pm, Sunday, October 18th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 60 Comments

There was a moment in this game when Aleksandar Mitrovic was coming off to be replaced by Papiss Cisse and after the Serbian came off he got a hug from head coach Steve McClaren.

Steve was relaxing a bit and smiled as he knew not only Aleksandar but his team had given the display they needed to give in front of their faithful fans and ended up winning  the game 6-2 after things had looked dodgy in that first half as we were able to score three goals but we also conceded two poor goals.

steve mcclaren mitrovic

A smiling Steve McClaren near the end of the game today with Mitrovic

In fact the game was great entertainment as both sides were willing to attack and as the game for was far too open for two weak defenses.

We´ll remmebr the good things today and there were plenty of them,  but our defense was very weak in that first half and Steve knows both our strengths and weaknesses were on display.

Here´s what he said after the game:

“It’s Newcastle! Is it possible to make any sense of that?” “That’s what we’re discovering.” “Today we showed what we are capable of. At times, we looked devastating”

“I couldn’t even relax at 4-2, maybe a bit at 5-2 and yes, eventually at 6-2.”  “It was great to see Gigi get his rewards and Moussa Sissoko also showed what he can do.”

“He wants to be a top four player and he will be if he performs like that.” “They were excellent along with Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic though at the back we rode our luck at times.”

“I never got too low after losing 6-1 at Manchester City and won’t get too high after this,”  “But today we showed what we are capable of. At times, we looked devastating.”

“Now we have to sustain it. Football is all about momentum. We’ve had it the other way, now we want it going forward.”

We were great going forward and we doubled the points we had gained in the previous eight games and also doubled the number of goals we have scored from six to twelve.

Not bad for one game.

But we now have to carry this form and determination into the early kick-off game at Sunderland next Sunday.

If we lose our 6th game in a row against the Black Cats it will be another embarrassment and allow Sunderland to draw level with us on points.

Another win would be fantastic.

Comment welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Interview · Newcastle News · Premier League · Press

60 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Laurent Robert 32 // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:16 PM

    Great result today. So pleased to see us scored so many, and delighted to see attempted triangles in and around the 18 yard box which was one of the biggest gripes I’ve had of the team with the last set of morons in charge. An excellent confidence builder and belief breather for next week. More to build on.

  • 2 jimmysmith // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:19 PM

    I hope Haidarra retains his place. He has been no poorer than many others, but also has real qualities and potential. Dummet is okay, but not the better prospect. Tiote also. He needs a run of games and the side needs alternatives to Anita and Colback, who are okay, but need competition.

  • 3 Mister Tuff // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    Extra bonus seeing the game again on MOTD2 and seeing Palace getting beat and King Percy not being so cocky.
    Message to those who cannot stop their King Percy love in ——–booohooo. booohoooo.

  • 4 beefman13 // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:31 PM

    jimmysmith, i would give young Mbabu the left back spot, he has looked excellent in his time in the team, massive prospect, Haidara has had quite a few chances, its just choices and preferences jinky!

  • 5 jimmysmith // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:40 PM

    Hopefully Tiote can step up and throw down the gauntlet to Anita and Colback, and if so and with the emergence of Mababu. Then quality replacements in January for Cisse and Taylor might be all that’s required to see us through this season. Taylor is good enough, but his fitness injuries means he doesn’t offer sufficient competition and Cisse just doesn’t fit, and despite occasional purple patches of goalscoring form never has.

    I’d like to see De Jong drafted in also. But Perex will deservedly keep him out if our form doesn’t dip again. He isa terrific young player, as is his pal Mitrovic, whose goal was so good, it brought a small lump to my throat and a little welling up of emotion, that I haven’t experienced since the days of Shearer, Ferdinand and Ferguson. Proper Newcastle centre forwards.

  • 6 Toon Tang // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:40 PM

    Chris Suttons voice is one of the strangest I’ve heard.

  • 7 Novocastrian66 // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:41 PM

    Excellent result. I haven’t seen the game but by all accounts the score line flatters us. Personally I’m not bothered. The win is all that matters.

  • 8 89Norcal // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    Gigi, Gini, Wini, Wiji, how many names does Wijanaldum have? 🙂

  • 9 toonking // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:53 PM


    All we care about at the minute is a great result and hatrick man wij if you want to talk about that yes man parjew p1ss off over to the palace blog.

  • 10 lesh // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:58 PM


    Maybe Gigi’s the name of Ashley’s cart horse.

    (Gee-gee….. Geddit?

    Not as funny as Welshy’s but we try…….

  • 11 jimmysmith // Oct 18, 2015 at 11:59 PM

    Beef, I see Mbabu in more of a Dummet role at this stage. In his case a back up right back as well as CB. Both useful players.

    Haidarra appeals more to me in a side that is clearly still developing, but wants to get the fullbacks forward, but sure, just my preference

    The win is very satisfying, because we were never anything like as bad as the league table had suggested, but it was a big worry none the less.

  • 12 Mister Tuff // Oct 19, 2015 at 12:03 AM

    toonking – are you the original toonking or the one that was leaving the blog – got to be careful nowadays. Must say no need for the bad language.
    Did you check out the Ladies Rugby and Netball forums.

  • 13 BrightonMag // Oct 19, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    Well…that was quite a first game for my little lad to be at!!! Just walked in the door after the long drive back to Brighton…Going to bed a very very happy chappy

  • 14 Mister Tuff // Oct 19, 2015 at 12:33 AM

    toonking managed to sort out a decent tactics link for you :-

    You will be able to learn some netball terms and tactics. This knowledge should ensure a seamless switch to the Ladies Netball blog. Thereafter you will be “well in” and able to exchange recipes, dress making and make up tips.
    No need to thank me for my assistance.

  • 15 toonking // Oct 19, 2015 at 12:34 AM

    what do you expect when i get so many people getting at me yesterday including JFA telling me to go support palace and anyway i’ve have a few pints and we see lots of swearing on these blogs.

    challenge to all bloggers both anti and accepted parjew-

    Between now and the game against palace itself we don’t talk one bit about pardew and his time here.

    i’ll make more reminders at other times so everyone gets a chance to see

  • 16 toonking // Oct 19, 2015 at 12:36 AM

    as for yourself tuff your friend welsh might be looking for you

  • 17 Mister Tuff // Oct 19, 2015 at 12:46 AM

    toonking – he’s no mate of mine. He’ll be hiding in some grassy pasture in Taffyland draped in a bit of sheepskin rug -waiting to pounce.

  • 18 Munster Mag // Oct 19, 2015 at 1:12 AM

    Well done Brighton, fair play to you. Great win but serious deficiencies there. Not to worry, enjoy for now. Htl

  • 19 Blofal // Oct 19, 2015 at 1:21 AM

    I understand why McClaren started Tiote. Our defense has been so bad in part because of the inability of defensive midfield to break down opposition attacks.

    Tiote in his prime was brilliant at that. He looked very very slow last night though and I don’t recall seeing him dispossess an opposition player once. We looked much better when Anita came on.

    The first thing we do in January I think is bring in an experienced holding midfielder. We can’t have a situation again where Gouffran has to play in the centre. Plus Colback is one yellow away from suspension so some game soon our midfield is going to be Anita/Tiote.

  • 20 Blofal // Oct 19, 2015 at 1:22 AM

    I’m still on such a high. I got up at 2am to watch that game and almost didn’t go back to sleep!

  • 21 jimmysmith // Oct 19, 2015 at 1:36 AM

    An edited and revised repost, in honour of such a great result.

    The win is very satisfying and comes as a blessed relief. Even though we were never anything like as bad as the league table had suggested, it has been a big worry none the less.

    It’s real boost of confidence for McC and the players, and just as importantly for the fans who have surely been wondering if a seemingly capable side has the mental toughness to get themselves out of such a mess and heading in the right direction.

    Great games from Sissoko, Peres, Mitro, and Widjnaldum, which augurs so well for us too, considering they are so young.

    We rode our luck at the back at times, so still plenty of work to be done, but still a great, timely, and much needed result. Astonishing really, coming on the heels of the City thumping.

    Mitrovic’s goal was so good it brought a small lump to my throat and a little welling up of emotion that I haven’t experienced since the days of Shearer, Ferdinand and Ferguson – proper Newcastle centre forwards.

    Bring on those horrible Mackems!

  • 22 brklyngeordie // Oct 19, 2015 at 2:36 AM

    Couldn’t disagree more with you about Dummett and Haidara Dummett miles ahead for me as footballer only thing Haidara has more of is pace and it ends there please may we never look back and keep forward with Dummett

  • 23 swemag // Oct 19, 2015 at 2:54 AM

    Before the game I was looking at our lineup and even our bench and was thinking how the hell can we be bottom of the league. Well, we are not.
    Hope we keep this up against Sunderland.

    With Mitro, Perez, Wini and Sissoko attacking it feels like anything can happen.

    And we still have de Jong, Aarons and Thauvin to show what they can do.

    Defending was a concern though. Second goal is really poor.

  • 24 jimmysmith // Oct 19, 2015 at 3:27 AM

    Well that’s right. Dummet lacks the pace of a top attacking fullback and the height or physique of a commanding CB. Nor is he outstanding on the ball.

    He has qualities that make him a more than useful player, but he’s gonna have to go some to be the future of any top Newcastle side in either position.

    Pace, while in itself doesn’t make a footballer, is a massive asset, and Haidarra has more than just pace.

    Agreed though, he’s not the finished article, and as is, not there yet, but I think he’s growing into, and has the capacity to be a very good player.

  • 25 Brian Pinas // Oct 19, 2015 at 4:01 AM

    We can’t beat an egg then we win 6-2… only this club…but I f*****g love it!

  • 26 Klatoon // Oct 19, 2015 at 5:14 AM

    Haidara is a better tackler, never hesitant to get stuck in. But i agree Dummett was just ring-rusty yesterday

  • 27 Reyantoon // Oct 19, 2015 at 5:40 AM

    I’m still buzzing from yesterday 🙂 🙂
    What a way to get a relief from our frustrating start.Those who keep critisizing Sissoko should now realize how important he is for the team.
    I’m satisfied like hell,not get carried away but gonna enjoy it the whole week 🙂
    The Sissoko and Wini show is perhaps the most accurate labelling of the game.Hwtl 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • 28 Reyantoon // Oct 19, 2015 at 5:45 AM

    Perhaps nut meg should now gets the answer why i defended Sissoko!!!!

  • 29 Reyantoon // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    F**k the mackem game! Don’t care we win that or not.We got a superstar who we should enjoy watching,by a name classy Wi 🙂 jn 🙂 m

  • 30 Reyantoon // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:02 AM

    Oh wait,that has to be the re-born Sockssss 🙂

  • 31 Jail for Ashley // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:15 AM

    Bizarre post ?
    Steve says Sissiko will be a top four player, does he mean with us ?

  • 32 hibbitt // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:20 AM

    one thing that jumped out yesterday was how quiet the crowd were i dont know if it was shock or worry but at times you could here a pin drop

  • 33 nut meg // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    Sissoko showed what he CAN do……but doesn’t do often enough.One swallow ….you know the rest.I’m very happy with the 3 points and the way we played for a lot of the game but still a LONG way to go yet so we shouldn’t get carried away. I’ll enjoy the victory but I’m not losing sight of the fact that Norwich scored 2 goals,had one cleared off the line, hit the post twice with the keeper beaten and a couple of other chances. I posted during h/t that I wouldn’t feel safe with a 5 goal lead due to our poor defence,I stand by that. Players have to perform week in week out before you can call them great players,until then they are players who only have ability.

  • 34 nut meg // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:35 AM

    From last night.

  • 35 Thump // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:40 AM

    @hibbit: that was shock. The game started with the fans in full voice (they were singing at half 3 when I was waiting to get the bus back from town!), when we scored it managed to get louder, then they equalised and it took our breath away. It picked us bit, but then went back down when they got their 2nd. You could feel the nerves in the stadium through the TV!

    Also did anybody else notice the rendition of the Jonas song? Fairly certain a handful of Norwich fans joined in too.

  • 36 Slank // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:46 AM

    Mbabu isn’t a left back.

    Dummitt and Haidara are left backs because they are left footed and can cross the ball in attack whereas in his only premiership games so far Mbabu couldn’t.

    However, Mbabu would probably be an excellent cover for Janmaat.

    It’s all down to pegs and holes.

  • 37 LGFUAD21 // Oct 19, 2015 at 6:53 AM

    While the game was thrilling from an entertainment perspective.

    Better teams would’ve punished us at the back and not been so frail themselves.

    It’s obvious that while we could do with a better cb to pair Mbemba with, Colo isn’t the worst defender out there. He gets cuaght in the air and for pace but the majority of times he is at fault it’s because he has run out to slot in for the lack of a defensive midfielder coving the back four.

    Most of our defensive errors come from the wings. Colback and anita just don’t offer enough steel.

    I watched the team back off so much yesterday and there doesn’t seem to be anyone that can tackle in it apart from Mbemba and colo (haidara can but only wants to tackle in the oppositions half)

    We be shown what we can do if we take the shackles off Moussa and Gini but we need that enforcer in midfield if that’s our approach.

    Fat Sam won’t let Sunderland be so lax next week.

  • 38 Jail for Ashley // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    You’ll have to provide a copy and paste where I told you to go and support Palece, I was out all yesterday only getting in for the last twenty minutes of the game.

  • 39 Jail for Ashley // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    If yesterday didn’t outline the need for a commanding CB and a quality LB I don’t know what will, never mind about sell on, get someone in.

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    I championed for a RB cover for Jaanmatt in the summer, I didn’t realise we had Mbau?, now that is orted I think we should get the two positions I listed above, hopefully Cisse will get his mojo back.

  • 41 Jail for Ashley // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    I think McLaren would get a lot of fans onside by stripping Collo of the captaincy and making him fight for his place, or better still flogging him.

  • 42 firebug666 // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:31 AM


    Totally agree @38, and the makems are a lot better defensibly than Norwich were yesterday.

    I am more confident of beating the makems now after we showed we can score more than two goals yesterday, and the players should be high on confidence too going into the derby game.

    Fat Sam say’s he does not want to be the man who loses the derby after they won the last five, I say let’s rub his nose in it, and win the game, and then rub his nose in it some more.

  • 43 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    How about playing a LB at LB and try Mbabu in CB where he’s been trained?

    …crazy thought I know 😉

    You’ll have to play him next to someone with experience which doesn’t solve the problem we have (Colo)…

  • 44 Jail for Ashley // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    Ideally and realistically I would like to see in January a pairing between Mbemba and an experienced commanding PL or at least CL CB with Dummit as fourth choice and I’d like to say STaylor but he’s simply never fit and imo has to go, so Collo and Dummit as third and fourth choice with a quality LB with Haidara as his back up.

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    I thought Mababu was a RB ?

  • 46 Jail for Ashley // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    I have been absolutely dreading the derby up until yesterday, I’m seriously looking forward to it now and looking at Facebook the mackems are bricking it.

  • 47 firebug666 // Oct 19, 2015 at 7:44 AM


    I have an allotment share will a mate who is a makem, and no doubt I will be seeing him this morning, I just feel that today will be a good day. pmsl.

    You are correct though, living in Horden and surrounded by makems has it’s good days, the ones I have spoken to seem to think the natural order of derby days will be resumed.

    To be fair, most did offer grudging congratulations on yesterdays win though.

  • 48 Slank // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    I hate to be a party pooper but looking at the stats for the game, and discarding the score, we do not come out well.

    Norwich had more possession and had more attempts on goal. They hit the footwork twice and had a shot kicked off the line.

    In some respects we have played better in recent games (well the first 45 minutes) but haven’t picked up 3 points. What is remarkable is that we only had 6 shots on target and scored 6 times. I cannot recal their keeper making a save. A very odd game albeit very enjoyable.

  • 49 welshgeordie9 // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:06 AM


    You are right, Mrs Tuff should be on the palace blog, speaking about tuff, take the piss if you want like average did last night, i don’t why because i haven’t mentioned his name in months, like said to him last night and I’m going to ask you, so tuff what’s it like losing to the sheep shaggers.

  • 50 Spuggy // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:08 AM

    Great game. Problem is we are using all out powerful strong players in a forward line. Nothing wrong with that but we lack a cabaye in midfield – someone tenacious and creative with long range to keep control of the game. Put cabaye in this team and it would be devastating with those targets in front of him.

    I also think if we want to push on we need a top class DMF, an obvious CB and striker and a good defensive LB.

  • 51 Jib // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    nut meg
    Supermac clearly tells different stories to different ghost writers.
    That whole piece you posted has the feeling of fanciful embroidery (it happens you know).
    Bobby Robson remembering him from 10 years before when he was a schoolkid of 8 ? Gimme a break , SBR couldn’t even remember the names of his players half the time , bless him.
    In many other accounts Malcolm’s conversion happened at Tonbridge Angels .

  • 52 Spuggy // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    I’m still not sure about thauvin. Never have been. He’s a downgrade of Perez. Hopefully he’ll come good but his record ain’t that great.

  • 53 welshgeordie9 // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    i can see us winning this weekend, i think every time we have played them they have been in form going in to the Derby, this season they are struggling big time, just dont want their first win against us.

  • 54 sing in the corner // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:14 AM


    Do me a favour and go take a leak on the mackem’s leeks will ya?
    Only joking! Well, kind of 🙂

  • 55 welshgeordie9 // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    We have been unlucky this season, some of the results should have won we lost or drawn, in matches it’s all about taking your chances, should have beaten Chelsea, like Gini against Norwich taking his chances in the first half, it’s a pity mitrovic didn’t take his against man city when he should have 3 in the first half, hopefully now we can go on a run, this squad can do it and is capable of doing it.

  • 56 sing in the corner // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    No offence intended to the welsh there

  • 57 martoon // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    I said it yesterday but the second half was the weirdest game of football I’ve seen. They had us pinned back for long periods then we would break away and score. Delighted with the result but the defence still needs a lot of work. I suspect neither Dummett or Haiddara were completely match fit which is why they got approximately a half each.

  • 58 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Great result – but
    Norwich were the more composed on the ball moved it around and running off the ball much better than ours. had us on the ropes beginning second half.
    Our defending was at awful at sixes and sevens down our right cannot they had acres of space to play in as Janmaat was tucking inside leaving the winger free as Sissoko was not covering back and Tiote hadn’t a clue where he was playing.
    tighten up a lot second half with the introduction of Anita to fill that the space in front of Janmaat.

    You could see we were nervous as we stopped passing the ball out from the back and resorted to hoofball

    Elliott – 6 did ok distribution poor – needs to throw it out more as he has one-hell of a throw.
    Dummett – 7 did well for being out of the team for so long.
    Colocinni – 7 OK did nowt wrong
    Mbemba – 7 again did nowt wrong.
    Janmaat – 5 got pulled all-over the placelucky not to give a penalty away
    Sissoko – 7 did well going forward but defensive duties poor and tended to pull out of 50-50 balls.
    Colback – 7 did the job he had to
    Tiote – 4 to slow gets caught in possession and dived into a rash tackle getting himself booked first 5 minutes
    Wijnaldum – 10 absolut brilliant – going to struggle to hold on to him
    Perez – 8 buzzed around all- afternoon chasing lost causes linked up well with mitrovic
    Mitrovic – 8 took his goal well held up the ball well – maybe needs to jump ad head the ball a bit more instead of trying to bring it down on his chest all the time.

    Anita – 7 made the difference in front of the defence second half
    Hiadara – 7 did well when he came on and got stuck in
    Cisse – was not on long enough to merit

  • 59 welshgeordie9 // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:38 AM

    sing in the corner

    No problem mate.

  • 60 welshgeordie9 // Oct 19, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Do you go to all the home games.

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